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Smoldering, white-hot electric insanity, right here. Yeah, check that setlist, but don't be fooled - this one's almost like a self-imposed litmus test for the band: how hard can you play these 4-5 minute songs and NOT but out into a full-throttle jam? I tell you, by the time Saturday Night closes, you can tell they just barely made it.
I *knew*, scanning the reviews, I'd see at least one like darrylizer's below complaining about the setlist and lack of jams they personally want to hear - I dunno, for me, this is a prime example of that old saying regarding the Dead: "It's not what they play, it's how they play it." They pack so much excitement into these tunes that "jam" isn't really their intent.
Cumberland. Me and My Uncle. Billy K on the first NFA segment. Jerry tearing right through the ionosphere on Sat. Nite. And, yes, Pig & co. "jamming" out Smokestack. (blows on fingertips) yow! ow! yikes!
For anyone who loves 12/5 from the Felt but is dismayed at the sound quality of that famed night, this one is a spot-on alternate, and, IMHO, a better show. Lessons to be learned listening to this one, guys -
chris phillips -
Subject: stand up Dead
This show is awesome btw and one of the better ones with '71 Keith.
The Jerry tunes are where it's at 12/7, other than an outstanding Smokestack, for sure.
Subject: What's so great about Europe '72?
What's so great about Europe '72? I'll take 1971 over 1972 any day of the week, and 1970 over '71. 1969 is even better. Get my drift?
Subject: You got to get tight to get right!!
And this show is so tight it's about to rip.
Not the flashiest set list, but the energy and precision of this affair is yummy, yummy.
Listen to Me & My Uncle for just a little taste.
Magic my peeps magic...
Subject: The Felt Forum 1971...
EXCELLENT SOUNDBOARD. DELICIOUS MIX, AND STELLAR PERFORMANCE. THIS IS A MUST HAVE.
The Felt Forum is a thirty-five hundred seat semi circle theater at the Madison Square Garden complex in Manhattan. A very intimate place to see the DEAD.
My first Grateful Dead show was December 4, 1971 at the Felt Forum my ticket cost $5.50. I was 16, I still have the ticket stub.
Bill Graham was there, The DEAD had pyrotechnics and skeletons that dropped from the top of the stage during the show. I remember seeing a sign saying THE GRATEFUL DEAD light up like sparklers burning when they played Casey Jones.
Anyway this show is excellent, Get the 4th 5th, 6th, and 7th of December at the Felt Forum on the Archive. Get them all.
I remember Phil freaking out on the 4th and pounding on his bass, maybe it was his battery...anyway it stopped the show.
December 4th was an electrifying show it was Saturday Night, and when the DEAD played "One More Saturday Night" the New York Crowd went ballistic.
I highly recommend this show. The Dead are full of energy, and are having lots of fun. THANKS FOR THE LOVE. It seems like it was so long ago...
Subject: What a year...
There are so many huge shows in '71 that it's really hard to say which one is the best. Actually I'm not even sure which one from the Felt Forum run is the best... but all considered this one is a good candidate!
Subject: A Gem
Great show and perfect sound quality.
Subject: The Best '71!
To me, this show is the best '71 show there is. The sound is amazing! Absoultely perfect, even for '71.
Cold Rain and Snow, Brokedown Palace, and Jack Straw are some of the great tunes in this show. It's the perfect preview of what was to happen in '72.
HOWLIN ALLAN -
Subject: THAT WAS A GREAT YEAR
THIS WAS A RATHER GOOD SHOW.I AGREE WITH PREVIOUS REVIEWS,THAT PIGPEN IS BACK.I WAS AT THIS SHOW.AS I REMEMBER IT,THE SHOW WAS SIMULCASTED ON WNEW THE NIGHT BEFORE.THERE A FEW BETTER COLD RAINS,BUT NOT MANY.I WOULD LOVE TO TALK TO ANYBODY WHOSE OR WAS AT THESE SHOWS.MY EMAIL IS ALLANRPA@OPTONLINE.NET.THE TENNESSEE JED WAS TIGHT.
Subject: Great Era
This is special, Pigpen is back, The energy levels are high, the music is flowing, One of only a few Smokestack Lightning's with Pig and Keith, great Cold Rain, Brokedown, Cumberland, among others, Run Rodolph is an upgrade from Johnny b Goode. August is far off in the distance, May72 is knockin on the door.
The Honeymoon is over and the dusk has cleared, and this band is on a roll.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org happy to share with responsible listeners.
walkin' jingle -
Subject: Great '71 show
This is a great 1971 show. The band is definitely in transition during this period. Pigpen here is still alive and sounding great on his more musical blues songs, rather than the extended blue raps of earlier years, but Keith Godchaux is now also on keys, while wife, Donna, sits this one out.
The whole band sounds tight and musical. Not the brazen, 1968 San Francisco pyschedelic dance band, but not yet the American folk-country-psychedelic-groove icons of 1974. The '71-'72 period is some of my favorite Grateful Dead, and this show from late '71 has that flavor, but with a rawer sound than Europe 1972. Everyone is in top form, playing a lot of classic Dead tunes with on-key singing and beautiful, compact jams. Songs from "Workingmans Dead" and "American Beauty", like Casey Jones, Sugar Magnila, and Truckin' became Dead staples. This download showcases those songs as well as less-played, but stellar versions of "Cumberland Blues", and "Brokedown Palace".
All songs on these two discs sound great. The sound quality, in particular is clear and full, though over-saturated at times. Showcasing Phil's melodic bass, enthusiastic singing, and Jerry's bouyant, wandering guitar line, the worst songs in this show are good, and the best crackle with energy.
Subject: A great show that just misses being a five star
The Smokestack Lightning is outfreakingstanding; Brokedown Palace and Cold Rain And Snow are excellent as are just about all the others. Sugar Mag being an exception as Jerry tunes up for the first minute pretty much ruining the song. This is a show with both Keith and Pigpen playing keyboards, which for me is always a treat. But this show although very strong, just misses being a five star because of two things. There is some nasty distortion/crackling on the right channel. It happens occasionally, but enough to annoy especially if I'm wearing headphones. Otherwise the sound is pretty good though. The second thing is that there just isn't quite enough jamming for my tastes: no Dark Star, no Other One, no extended NFA. What jamming there is is very good, but greedy bastard that I am, I want more. This show points the way to the magnificence of '72, but for my tastes the Dead play a little too conservatively. The show is a 4.6, the sound is a 4 and since I can't rate the show 4.5 stars, it gets a 4.
Subject: HOLY MOLY!
WOW!! That's all I can say. This is the 1971 show I've been looking for! Sound and playing is stellar! Do NOT waste any more time without this. Get it now!
OK. I have listened to this show about 5 times through now...and, well...it's the perfect show. It really sounds more like 72 dead than 71 dead. This is right up there with the Europe 72 tour. I actually like this better because Jerry is so loud in the mix with his beautiful 72 tone. His solo in Brokedown Palace just melted my soul...it's truly gorgeous...and flawless, like the notes just flowed out of his fingers with no effort at all. What a f-ing stellar show!!!!
Subject: FELT FORUM 12-7-71
THIS SHOW SMOKES. I HAD NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW LISTED BEFORE ON ANYBODY'S LIST.
POSSIBLY THE BEST RUN RUDOLPH RUN EVER.
THIS IS NOW MY 2ND FAVORITE SHOW, RIGHT BEHIND
5-16-72 (CHECK OUT THE "IT HURTS ME TOO" ON THAT
one of the best soundboards I've heard and an absolute smokin' show!
Subject: Best of the Rest?
Some, rightly so, point to 11-7 Harding Theater or 12-14 & 12-15 Hill Auditorium shows for this period of 1971. I'm going to put my stamp of approval on this 12-7 Felt Forum show instead because it deserves some promotion. Everything about this recording/show is top-drawer material.
THIS is the show you want my fellow deadfreaks.
Jon Blanton -
Subject: December 7th, 1971
Beautiful. The sound quality is essentially perfect...nice and loud, the mix wonderfully balanced.
The band is on fire on this fine night, the setlist covering much of their best material, every song done with jamming perfection. I'd say its right on par, on all levels, with all the official Grateful Dead live releases of just a couple months later, in '72.
Give it a stream, it sounds fantastic even at low-fi. Highly reccomended.
Perhaps this is overshadowed by the previous nights, however this one is very fine indeed. This is another absolutely sweltering Smokestack and a great version of Brokedown...Jerry sounds good. Sound quality starts a bit muddy, but comes around quickly and the playing is excellent.
Gotta go with a 4 here folks...